A Wine Staycation with Loire Valley Wines
What does the Loire Valley mean to you? For me, it’s all about beautiful countryside and fairytale castles. And of course, the wine. Always an early starter, I first tried Loire Valley wines on a family holiday there when I was about 9. I’ve been back to the Loire Valley since of course and love the mix of culture, history, wine and food. This year though, all that kind of thing is on hold and like many people, I’m staying at home.
Loire Valley wines, the third largest inter-professional association for AOC wines in France brings together over brings together around 50 appellations and 38,000 hectares of vines in Nantais, Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. If you thought you knew the wines of the Loire, you probably need, like me, to take a step back and realise just how much more there is to discover. And, Loire Valley wines have set up all sorts of activities to help you do just that in London this summer. For a start, there are free wine tasting routes covering different parts of London (from Crystal Palace to Greenwich, from Hampstead to Shepherd’s Bush, from Tower Bridge to Stoke Newington and, of course, one in Central London.
Then, there’s Wine Tasting on Wheels – a Piaggio van which is making its way around London for tastings. It will be at the Brick Lane Food Hall from midday to 7 pm on the 5th and 6th September and at the Queen’s Stone on the South Bank from midday to 7 pm on the 12th September. We were lucky enough to enjoy a little preview, right on my doorstep here in South London.
Ably hosted by our knowledgable guide, we tasted four wines – a powerful Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, a minerally crisp and dry Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine a classic rosé d’Anjou and my favourite Cremant de Loire, a sparkling wine. What surprised us all was the variety of wines.
And, we all noted how much depth the rosé d’Anjou had compared with the rosé de Provence we’d been enjoying while waiting for the van. It was rich and fruity – a real mouthful of summer berries.
It’s a great way to learn a little more about the wines of the Loire at a time when we can’t visit in person. Do pop along and find out for yourself. There’s more information on the website www.loirebucketlist.com